AuthorLonny Kocina

Home/Articles Posted by Lonny Kocina

Rev up sales with great PR and a well-maintained website

After people see your product in news stories, one of the first things they may do is pull out their smartphone and look up your website. It’s vital to the sales process that your website is ready to hold their interest and sell to them. We often refer our PR clients to Checkerboard Strategic Web Development to ensure that their websites are ready for the waves of new attention they’ll receive. Developing your website is not a one-time, over-and-done activity. In fact, in some ways, a website
Continue Reading

To earn publicity, your content must pass this vital but hidden test

Whether you realize it or not, the public has an unforgivingly high standard for content. Many companies don’t realize they are playing a serious game when they publish content on their websites or in other promotional channels. I’ll tell you why we are so aware of this hidden test for earning publicity. We sell media coverage and we price it by the story we arrange. Selling publicity by the story is a simple but challenging business model: We convince reporters and producers to do stories
Continue Reading

Would you buy Public Relations Pizza? Pizza sold by the hour with no guarantee of delivery

Positive news stories will bring in leads and cause sales. Yet if you are like most businesses, you don’t get much publicity. There’s a reason for that. The PR industry has unintentionally stunted the growth of publicity as a promotional mix channel by using a poor pricing model; they bill by the hour. And worse yet, they don’t guarantee you will get any media coverage. Imagine if pizza was sold that way: By the hour with no guarantee you would get a pizza. It doesn’t seem very smart, does
Continue Reading

When does a product become a brand? Is your product a brand? Probably not.

Most products aren’t brands. People who kid themselves about having a brand are doing their company and products a disservice. They are also embarrassing themselves. Like a couch potato wearing spandex, it’s uncomfortable to witness. Blame it on college textbooks Ten years ago, I did a favor for the head of the marketing department at a local college and taught a Principles of Marketing class for a semester. I enjoyed it and ended up teaching it for four years. The textbook I used – Marketing
Continue Reading

A publicist you should meet

I was chatting with Gail Brandt, a publicist who has been employed with us for 15 years. We did some cowboy math and estimated she has personally contacted the media a quarter million times since she started working with us. No one knows more about how to persuade reporters and producers to do nice stories about a company and their products than our publicists. The media is the gateway to millions and our publicists are in constant contact with the gatekeepers. Because we charge per story we arrange,

The power is in your story

If you want people to engage with your marketing, go where they connect with the promotional mix. It’s pretty clear where people seek information. They spend hours every day with traditional media, digital media and websites. The image above organizes the promotional mix like a magnet. It attracts on one side and repels on the other. Meeting your market in these promotional channels requires a different approach than meeting them through salespeople and ads. Companies love the word-for-word control

Tragic story illustrates the importance of how PR is priced

The following tragic story will illustrate why we can get media coverage for your product ... lots of it. One day I noticed a woman in my wife Robin’s office. She was crying. For about three hours. When she left, I asked “What was that about?” Robin said, “I’m touched. Her name is Sheryl Hill and her son Tyler died needlessly while studying abroad. She hired a PR firm to draw attention to ClearCause Foundation, a non-profit organization she started to save other kids. She spent $35,000

$2000 a pop

We arrange publicity for companies and their products, and we charge on average $2,000 per story. Most PR firms charge by the hour. We charge per story. We think our pricing makes more sense. Imagine if pizza was sold by the hour with no guarantee you’d get a pizza. Who’d buy it? Not many. Hundreds of clients have bought publicity from us over the last 25 years because they always get publicity for their money. Not much will outsell good publicity. Even small shows and publications have large

Test your publicity channel prowess

Publicity is the promotional channel that’s hidden in plain view. Everyone knows how valuable a story about your company or product can be, but almost no one uses it. Test your publicity channel prowess by ranking each answer to the following questions on a scale of 1-10: 1. Assume there are five potential media stories available per year, per market. Multiply the number of markets you sell into by five and write the total here: ____________. Now write the number of media stories that ran about

How to use publicity for social media content

Back in the 70s when I was in high school, I worked summers canning vegetables at Green Giant. They moved people from job to job as the plant’s needs changed. Each time I would begin a new job, I would think how much fun it was — for about two days. Then drudgery would set in. By week’s end it was mind-numbing boredom. Using social media as a marketing tool can be like factory work. Writing post and tweets seems fun at first but it soon turns into an endless chore. What should be a river of